From the start, conspiracy theories abounded. The earliest consisted of allegations that Israel had faked the kidnapping of the three tragic teenagers as a pretext to mount an offensive against the Palestinian Arabs, and an article in Ha'aretz (see below), the despicable rag that's the Israeli newspaper of choice for foes of Israel everywhere, played its inevitable part in the dissemination of the theory.
There were suggestions that Israel had made sure to include among the abductees a youngster with American as well as Israeli nationality in order to whip up outrage on the part of American Jews and ensure their support for Operation Brother's Keeper.
There was indignation on the part of some Israel-haters that the media had given publicity to the three boys' disappearance and subsequent fate, alleging that the media values Jewish lives above Palestinian ones: amazingly (as the above photo indicates), there was a demonstration outside the BBC's headquarters over this point. But look at BBC Watch's posts (latest one here) to be persuaded of the unsubstantiated nature of the allegation! (Presumably the Israel-haters want the BBC to be biased at all times against Israel, whereas what the BBC should at all times be is impartial and objective, favouring neither side over the other. But as I've observed before, such demonstrations enable the smug, self-satisfied BBC to claim that, since Israel's supporters also perceive it as biased against their side, the Corporation's reportage is balanced: "just about right".)
There was a desperate recourse to the "Israel has killed 1518 Palestinian children since 2000" mantra, citing "official figures from Ramallah". Needless to say, these "official figures" are highly suspect, manipulated and politicised, and the definition of "children" is deeply flawed. "Children" implies non-combatants, and persons below, say, 16 years of age.
Elder of Ziyon, in a post of 1 July titled "How NGO's make up lies about Israel", happens to discuss highlights one of the very graphic summaries that the Israel-haters have been citing. (Hat tip: reader Yosef)
Some of the reaction to the kidnapping and the ensuing Operation Brother's Keeper in representative images:
|Is that the gospel truth, vicar?|
|This report seized many an anti-Zionist imagination|
|By an American heavy-duty antisemite whose posts infest Facebook|
|Widely shared on Facebook by the usual suspects|
|A well-peddled poster with the anti-Israel set|
|Numerous Israel-haters took up this theme, with various images|
|No "Christian charity" here for the mourning Israeli families|
|From the Scottish PSC chief|
|From a pin-up of the Israel-haters in Britain and abroad|
|Veteran anti-Israel MP Jeremy Corbyn in the Morning Star|
|Moral relativism and conspiracy|
|See here for Tony Gratrex|
|Australia's Israel-demonising Left gets into the act|
|A link to a conspiracy-theory video|
|Another conspiracy theory; Note that the boys are termed "soldiers" here!|
|Protesting Al Beeb's "pro-Israel" bias! (Should have gone to SpecSavers!)|
|Steve Bell's cartoon in today's Guardian|
|A vile crime, but the perpetrators aren't yet known for sure|
|Al Beeb's Jon Donnison tweets his ten cents' worth here and below|
For their part, the Palestinian media shamelessly manipulated the facts. As reported inter alia here,
'the Palestinian media routinely referred to the three murdered boys as “settlers” and in some cases, also as “soldiers.” The Palestinian news agency Wafa condemned Israel for collectively punishing Palestinians, but did not denounce the murder of the three Jewish youngsters. They merely referred to them as “the three settlers” that disappeared.
Fatah’s official Facebook page, however, referred to them as “the three killed soldiers, whose bodies according to Israeli claims, were found in Hebron.” Two weeks ago, Fatah had celebrated the kidnapping of the three boys with a caricature posted to their Facebook page showing three mice with Stars of David attached to a fishing hook. According to an article [Dr Mudar] Zahran [the exiled leader of the Palestinians in Jordan, who is of course a friend of Israel; see for example his recent video here] wrote in the Gatestone Institute, the official PA daily had written that “Israel was behind the kidnapping,” alleging that the three were soldiers. He noted that the kidnappings were celebrated by average Palestinians with glorifications of the kidnappers and the passing out of sweets....
[R]eferences to the three boys as soldiers tend to be retweeted more than any other mention of them within the Palestinian Authority [as in Adnan Abdulal's post reproduced above]....
As Zahran wrote in the Gatestone Institute, “Keep in mind that the PA exerts extreme monitoring and control over social media used by Palestinians in the West Bank. A Palestinian man was jailed for six months for liking an anti-PA post on Facebook. The PA, therefore, is fully responsible for encouraging the celebrations of the kidnappings over Palestinian social media.”
.... Zahran stressed, “My comment as the leader of the Palestinians in Jordan, which numbers 6.2 million people is it is with our sincere sense of sadness and disgust that we extend our condolences to the families of the killed children and to Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as to the Israeli people. We are forced to remind everyone that the death of these young men is yet another result of the Oslo Agreement and its time to consider different options.”
Zahran called on the Israeli leadership to hold the Palestinian leadership within the Palestinian Authority responsible for what happened: “As much as it is a tragedy, it’s a chance for all of us, Israelis and Palestinians, to have Oslo ended forever. Everyone in Judea and Samaria is better off under Israeli sovereignty and now in Jordan, while we have the Israeli Army protecting us from ISIS, we have another reason to see that Israel’s power is the only guarantee of safety and security for Palestinians in Jordan and inside Israel.”'